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2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule – PART 1

CMS Fee Schedule For CY 2022

On November 2, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that includes updates on policy changes for Medicare payments under the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), and other Medicare Part B issues, on or after January 1, 2022.

CY 2022 PFS Ratesetting and Conversion Factor:
With the budget neutrality adjustment to account for changes in RVUs (required by law), and expiration of the 3.75 percent temporary CY 2021 payment increase provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA), the CY 2022 PFS conversion factor is $33.59, a decrease of $1.30 from the CY 2021 PFS conversion factor of $34.89.

1. Split (or shared) E/M visits :
Definition of split (or shared) E/M visits as E/M visits provided in the facility setting by a physician and an NPP in the same group. The visit is billed by the physician or practitioner who provides the substantive portion of the visit.

By 2023, the substantive portion of the visit will be defined as more than half of the total time spent. For 2022, the substantive portion can be history, physical exam, medical decision-making, or more than half of the total time (except for critical care, which can only be more than half of the total time).
Split (or shared) visits can be reported for new as well as established patients, and initial and subsequent visits, as well as prolonged services.

A modifier is required on the claim to identify these services to inform policy and help ensure program integrity.
Documentation in the medical record must identify the two individuals who performed the visit. The individual providing the substantive portion must sign and date the medical record.
Codifying these revised policies in a new regulation at 42 CFR 415.140.

2. Critical Care Services:
Critical care services are defined in the CPT Codebook prefatory language for the code set.

The CPT Codebook listing of bundled services are not separately payable.

When medically necessary, critical care services can be furnished concurrently to the same patient on the same day by more than one practitioner representing more than one specialty, and critical care services can be furnished as split (or shared) visits.

Critical care services may be paid on the same day as other E/M visits by the same practitioner or another practitioner in the same group of the same specialty, if the practitioner documents that the E/M visit was provided prior to the critical care service at a time when the patient did not require critical care, the visit was medically necessary, and the services are separate and distinct, with no duplicative elements from the critical care service provided later in the day. Practitioners must report modifier -25 on the claim when reporting these critical care services.

Critical care services may be paid separately in addition to a procedure with a global surgical period if the critical care is unrelated to the surgical procedure. Preoperative and/or postoperative critical care may be paid in addition to the procedure if the patient is critically ill (meets the definition of critical care) and requires the full attention of the physician, and the critical care is above and beyond and unrelated to the specific anatomic injury or general surgical procedure performed (e.g., trauma, burn cases). We are creating a new modifier for use on such claims to identify that the critical care is unrelated to the procedure. If care is fully transferred from the surgeon to an intensivist (and the critical care is unrelated), the appropriate modifiers must also be reported to indicate the transfer of care. Medical record documentation must support the claims.

3. Teaching Physician Services:
The AMA CPT office/outpatient E/M visit coding framework that CMS finalized for CY 2021 provides that practitioners can select the office/outpatient E/M visit level to bill based either on either the total time personally spent by the reporting practitioner or medical decision making (MDM). Under our existing regulations, if a resident participates in a service furnished in a teaching setting, a teaching physician can bill for the service only if they are present for the key or critical portion of the service. Under the so-called “primary care exception,” in certain teaching hospital primary care centers, the teaching physician can bill for certain services furnished independently by a resident without the physical presence of a teaching physician, but with the teaching physician’s review.

CMS finalized and clarified that when time is used to select the office/outpatient E/M visit level, only the time spent by the teaching physician in qualifying activities, including time that the teaching physician was present with the resident performing those activities, can be included for purposes of visit level selection. Under the primary care exception, time cannot be used to select visit level. Only MDM may be used to select the E/M visit level, to guard against the possibility of inappropriate coding that reflects residents’ inefficiencies rather than a measure of the total medically necessary time required to furnish the E/M services.

4. Telehealth Services under the PFS:
As CMS continues to evaluate the inclusion of telehealth services that were temporarily added to the Medicare telehealth services list during the COVID-19 PHE, we finalized that certain services added to the Medicare telehealth services list will remain on the list through December 31, 2023, allowing additional time for us to evaluate whether the services should be permanently added to the Medicare telehealth services list.

CMS is amending the current definition of interactive telecommunications system for telehealth services ? which is defined as multimedia communications equipment that includes, at a minimum, audio and video equipment permitting two-way, real-time interactive communication between the patient and distant site physician or practitioner ? to include audio-only communications technology when used for telehealth services for the diagnosis, evaluation, or treatment of mental health disorders furnished to established patients in their homes under certain circumstances.

5. Therapy Services:
CMS is completing implementation of section 53107 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which requires CMS, through the use of new modifiers (CQ and CO), to identify and make payment at 85 percent of the otherwise applicable Part B payment amount for physical therapy and occupational therapy services furnished in whole or in part by physical therapist assistants (PTAs) and occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) – when they are appropriately supervised by a physical therapist (PT) or occupational therapist (OT), respectively – for dates of service on and after January 1, 2022.

CMS defines services furnished in whole or in part by PTAs or OTAs as those for which the PTA or OTA time exceeds a de minimis threshold. For CY 2022, in response to numerous stakeholder questions and to promote proper therapy care, CMS is revising the policy for the de minimis standard. Specifically, CMS’ revised policy would allow a 15-minute timed service to be billed without the CQ/CO modifier in cases when a PTA/OTA participates in providing care to a patient, independent from the PT/OT, but the PT/OT meets the Medicare billing requirements for the timed service on their own, without the minutes furnished by the PTA/OTA, by providing more than the 15-minute midpoint (that is, 8 minutes or more – also known as the 8-minute rule). Under this finalized policy, any minutes that the PTA/OTA furnishes in these scenarios would not matter for purposes of billing Medicare.

Overall, the de minimis standard would continue to be applicable in the following scenarios:
a. When the PTA/OTA independently furnishes a service, or a 15-minute unit of a service “in whole” without the
PT/OT furnishing any part of the same service.
b. In instances where the service is not defined in 15-minute increments including: supervised modalities,
evaluations/reevaluations, and group therapy.
c. When the PTA/OTA furnishes 8 minutes or more of the final 15-minute unit of a billing scenario in which the
PT/OT furnishes less than eight minutes of the same service.
d. When both the PTA/OTA and the PT/OT each furnish less than 8 minutes for the final 15-minute unit of a billing
scenario (the 10 percent standard applies).

6. Billing for Physician Assistant (PA) Services
CMS is implementing section 403 of the CAA, which authorizes Medicare to make direct payment to PAs for professional services that they furnish under Part B beginning January 1, 2022. Medicare currently can only make payment to the employer or independent contractor of a PA. Beginning January 1, 2022, PAs may bill Medicare directly for their professional services, reassign payment for their professional services, and incorporate with other PAs and bill Medicare for PA services.

7. Vaccine Administration Services:
Administration of Preventive Vaccines
Effective January 1, 2022, CMS will pay $30 per dose for the administration of the influenza, pneumococcal and hepatitis B virus vaccines. In addition, CMS will maintain the current payment rate of $40 per dose for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccines through the end of the calendar year in which the ongoing PHE ends. Effective January 1 of the year following the year in which the PHE ends, the payment rate for COVID-19 vaccine administration will be set at a rate to align with the payment rate for the administration of other Part B preventive vaccines.

In-Home Administration of COVID-19 Vaccines
CMS will continue the additional payment of $35.50 for COVID-19 vaccine administration in the home under certain circumstances through the end of the calendar year in which the PHE ends.

COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Products
CMS will continue to pay for COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies under the Medicare Part B vaccine benefit through the end of the calendar year in which the PHE ends. During this interim time, we will maintain the $450 payment rate for administering a COVID-19 monoclonal antibody in a health care setting, as well as the payment rate of $750 for administering a COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy in the home.

Effective January 1 of the year following the year in which the PHE ends, CMS will pay physicians and other suppliers for COVID-19 monoclonal antibody products as biological products paid under section 1847A of the Act; health care providers and practitioners will be paid under the applicable payment system, and using the appropriate coding and payment rates, for administering COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies similar to the way they are paid for administering other complex biological products.

8. Coverage and Payment for Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) Services and Related Services:
The statute provides coverage of MNT services furnished by registered dietitians and nutrition professionals when the patient is referred by a physician (an M.D. or D.O.) and also establishes the professional qualifications for these practitioners. Since January 1, 2002, registered dietitians and nutrition professionals have been recognized to provide and bill for MNT services, meaning nutritional diagnostic, therapeutic, and counseling services. For CY 2022, in response to stakeholder concerns about parity of registered dietitians and nutrition professionals with other types of NPPs, we established regulations at § 410.72 to describe their services. The addition of this regulation parallels the regulations in place for other types of NPPs listed at section 1842(b)(18)(C) of the Act. We also finalized regulatory text at § 410.72(f) to state the requirements for these NPPs to bill on an assignment-related basis by cross-reference to our general assignment regulation at § 424.55. For consistency in our regulations, we made conforming amendments to our regulations regarding assignment requirements for PAs, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse mid-wives at §§ 410.74(d)(2), 410.75(e)(2), 410.76(e)(2) and 410.77(d)(2), respectively.

Updates to be continued. Visit here again for part2 and part3 of the updates.

For more information, visit:

Gainall Healthcare

Gainall Healthcare

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